Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Comments

top

Ask Slashdot: Any Place For Liberal Arts Degrees In Tech?

edremy Our Associate VP of IT (372 comments)

has a Ph.D. in 17th century English literature. Admittedly we do work at a college, but you might be surprised at what humanists are doing these days: he got into the computer side of things while building databases of who was sending who letters around then. Digital Humanities is a growing field, and one that has some interesting CS applications- you've got things like Mallet chewing through vast swathes of literature looking for correlations, you have folks building high end digital maps to look into questions of how sight lines affected historical battles, etc.

yesterday
top

Unpopular Programming Languages That Are Still Lucrative

edremy Re:Learn Coldfusion (380 comments)

Heh- a large chunk of our timesheet system where I work as well as departmental budgets is all done within a custom portal written in.... ColdFusion. We're slowly moving away from bits of it (The helpdesk ticketing/inventory control parts are gone now) but I can't see it dying completely within the next decade.

about a week ago
top

Did you use technology to get into mischief as a child?

edremy What technology? (230 comments)

If you're talking computers, my neighbor got a hard copy terminal when I was about 8- it was hooked up by phone line to the mainframe at work and printed on green bar paper. Hacking wasn't much of an option. "Technology" to my generation probably would have been a 4-barrel carb or a tube guitar amp.

about two weeks ago
top

Apple Denies Systems Breach In Photo Leak

edremy Re:At the risk of blaming the victim... (311 comments)

If it's out there someone is going to steal it.

Simple, no? Blame the victim all you want, but that line of thinking pretty quickly devolves into unplugging from the Internet and trying to pay your bills with physical cash.

Only if you miss the point.

.... No -- the real world has jerks in it. It's sad. And it's terrible that good people have to be restricted in their actions because of it, but that's what living in the real world is like. So, you can do online finance, but you take reasonable precautions... like using strong passwords and not posting your financial data on the internet for anyone to see. If you are likely to be a hacking target -- like a rich person with lots of financial stuff, or a famous actress with nudey photos of yourself -- you may want to go up a few more levels in terms of precaution.

Except that these people didn't post their information on the internet for everyone to see. They uploaded the photos (possibly without their knowledge, since they might not really understand iCloud) to what they thought was a secure account. From Apple's own page on iCloud: "With iCloud, you can share exactly what you want, with exactly whom you want." It was only Apple's piss-poor understanding of security that allowed the accounts to be brute forced.

Should they have used better passwords, or better reset questions? Sure, but I bet that 75% of Etrade account passwords could be brute forced using the same script if Etrade allowed it. Hell, I only updated mine a year or so ago since it was 10 digits long and I figured that wasn't enough anymore

I'm actually really annoyed at the focus on the "Don't upload nude selfies" bit. The foci in this story should be 1) Don't trust cloud vendors. 1a) Especially Apple 2) Push for better multi-factor authentication systems on *everything*- cloud photo accounts, checking accounts, ATMs, etc.

about two weeks ago
top

Apple Denies Systems Breach In Photo Leak

edremy Re:At the risk of blaming the victim... (311 comments)

If you don't want people stealing your money don't store money online. Don't use credit/debit cards, an online brokerage account, web access to your checking account, etc. If it's out there someone is going to steal it.

Simple, no? Blame the victim all you want, but that line of thinking pretty quickly devolves into unplugging from the Internet and trying to pay your bills with physical cash.

about two weeks ago
top

Latest Wikipedia Uproar Over 'Superprotection'

edremy Re:Most open communities get turned into cesspools (239 comments)

Except, of course, I did mention specifically why it was very good for those things- high resolution digitizer, full computer with access to huge library of programs, OneNote, etc. But I said something positive about MS, and thus I'm a troll. It's not the first time it's happened to me, while I watch content-free Linux propaganda in the same thread get +5 informative. (And now of course I get an AC trying to defend the bias...)

Back in the days when Slashdot was actually somewhat relevant, the bias was well known and the source of much amusement at other sites. Now it's just sad.

about a month ago
top

Latest Wikipedia Uproar Over 'Superprotection'

edremy Re:Most open communities get turned into cesspools (239 comments)

I'll give Slashdot some credit, it has actually managed to avoid crap like that comparatively well. Maybe it's the liberal use of anonymous posting here, or the more limited moderation system. Regardless, Slashdot is a clean and friendly place to have open discussion, at least compared to Hacker News, reddit, Wikipedia and Stack Overflow.

I find this comment amusing, since every time I mention Microsoft in any form of positive light I'm downmodded. I mentioned the MS Surface the other day and commented that it was proving a very nice tool for developing online learning materials. Downmodded instantly as "Troll"

Slashdot has serious groupthink issues and always has.

about a month ago
top

New HP Laptop Would Mean Windows at Chromebook Prices

edremy Re:External expansion through USB (215 comments)

Hmm, I have USB ports on my Chromebooks too, and USB drives, mice and the like work fine. Even Wacom tablets are supported as of last June. Oh, and HDMI ports as well. Webcam's built in. Printers aren't a problem either- the stuff just runs through your local router, it's not like it bounces off a remote server. I'm not sure what ISP you're on where you have a monthly limit, but if you're in that boat a network based thin client isn't exactly a smart choice anyway. Most dads aren't looking for high end sound cards and state of the art games.

And if you really want Linux, run Crouton.

About 90% of what you want is available on a Chromebook. If you need something in the 10%, well, buy a PC, but don't be surprised when a lot of people might not have the same use cases as you do. I have a home PC, but the Chromebook is awesome for simple, cheap and light- bulletproof laptop for the kids, and fun to type on the couch while watching Cosmos. (And I've been using my Chromecast to pull up Youtube videos expanding on some points for the wife afterwards.)

about a month ago
top

New HP Laptop Would Mean Windows at Chromebook Prices

edremy Re:Needs grow (215 comments)

A decent Chromebook is ~$200. How many upgrades can you make to a machine for that total cost? (And in the laptop world, a cheap laptop isn't going to have squat for expandability anyway)

As an added bonus, when it does come time for a new $200 Chromebook, setup will take less than a minute for him to type his WiFi password and log into it. Everything else is automagically there.

about a month ago
top

Are Altcoins Undermining Bitcoin's Credibility?

edremy Re:Bitcoin credibility? (267 comments)

The Altarian Dollar, the Flainian Pobble Bead and the Triganic Pu are all perfectly credible currencies.

about a month ago
top

Is Remote Instruction the Future of College?

edremy Why not community college rather than online? (81 comments)

Speaking as a guy who works in educational technology, send her to a CC instead of trying to find stuff online. The local CC will be dirt cheap, will have classes at odd hours if she needs to work, will have in-person instruction and will most likely have transfer agreements with lots of schools as well as a process for vetting with ones that don't automatically accept their credits. They also have to meet standards of teaching that are certified by accreditors with long histories in evaluating schools.

Online education has a lot of promise in various areas, but don't always assume it's the best tool

about a month ago
top

Sony Tosses the Sony Reader On the Scrap Heap

edremy Re:One mistake Sony Made (172 comments)

I actually tested a couple of ereaders back in the dawn of the e-ink versions for educational use, including the Sony ones.

They sucked. Utterly sucked. Equation formatting was laughably bad. Footnoting was dismal. Diagrams/graphs/pictures were far too small to see and magnify worked poorly (and of course there was no color). Writing text notes was a pain, and bookmarking was far too slow compared to page flipping. PDFs didn't format/reflow/do much of anything right.

It's not all that much better today. I love my Kindle, but I read novels and the like on it. Professional reading is almost always paper text. I've done e-textbooks on an iPad which handles equations and diagrams better, but it's still clunky compared to paper.

about a month and a half ago
top

Microsoft Announces Windows 8.1 With Bing To Sell Cheaper Devices

edremy Re:Customers will decide the Surface Fate (124 comments)

Flip side: our department has bought a bunch and will be buying more in the future. For developing online learning materials, a Surface + Camtasia simply blows away everything else out there- a full PC capable of running all Windows software + every bizarre web thing out there, with a high resolution pen and OneNote. You can even edit the resulting video directly on the machine.

about 4 months ago
top

Google Announces "Classroom"

edremy Re:Another misfit project? (143 comments)

Yeah, well, have to looked at iPod sales lately? Falling like a stone; so bad, in fact, that Apple's rumored to be cancelling it altogether. Clearly /. is just a bit ahead of the curve.

about 4 months ago
top

Skilled Manual Labor Critical To US STEM Dominance

edremy Re:LOL ... (367 comments)

Now, if a pilot starts out in the military (where they don't have to pay for flight school)

Unless things have changed since I was in, only officers* fly in the military, and in order to be an officer, you need a university degree. That means taking on student debt and being tied down for at least the length of a commission, so if you just want to fly for a living, it would make more sense to just go straight to flight school instead of considering the military a path to riches.

(* Or warrant officers, but that also requires considerable experience behind you as an enlisted man. You don't just start off flying.)

Except if you go to the Air Force Academy, where it's free. Or join ROTC at a school and get your tuition picked up. Either way you can get out of college for waaay less than someone who doesn't join up

about 5 months ago
top

Ask Slashdot: What Tech Products Were Built To Last?

edremy Audio gear, telescope, calculator, and ... (702 comments)

45 years old: Celestion Dynascope. Tracking drive still mostly works, although I did have to inexpertly replace the cork clutch which explains the "mostly"

30 years old: HP-11C calculator, Kenwood audio amp, Bose speakers, AKAI tape deck are all still running after 30 years, although they don't get much use, the tape deck especially.

25 years old: Yamaha PAC-921 guitar. Had to replace a potentiometer but it works perfectly, and with decent maintenance will probably never fail. There are tons of people with older electrics

And the current champion, which I don't think anyone's mentioned: my Dad's hand me down 60-year-old slide rule. Still works, and I threaten my students with it occasionally

about 5 months ago
top

Ask Slashdot: What Tech Products Were Built To Last?

edremy Re:HP Calculators (702 comments)

I got my HP-11 my senior year in high school, 1984, so it's 30 today. Still works. My HP-28s did crap out after 15 years, so I bought a used 48G off of eBay about 10 years ago and that's still going.

about 5 months ago
top

Ask Slashdot: What Good Print Media Is Left?

edremy Economist, Sky and Telescope, Skeptic (285 comments)

The former because it's probably the best general news periodical around, even when you disagree with their (fully acknowledged) slant. S&T is nice for the photos and paper charts- my son still has the four page foldout detail of the Milky Way up on his wall. Skeptic just for the off-the wall stuff- it's a good snack time at the table read.

about 5 months ago
top

Slashdot Asks: How Do You Pay Your Taxes?

edremy Re:We don''t do tax returns in the UK,you insensit (386 comments)

Not a bad idea- so long as you couple it with a "How much do you get back from the government" sheet. The majority of Americans get back more than they pay, and the ones who complain the most are often the biggest mooches.

about 5 months ago
top

Phil Shapiro says 20,000 Teachers Should Unite to Spread Chromebooks (Video)

edremy Re:Phil has no idea what he's talking about. (101 comments)

$250 for a decent Chromebook? How about $200 for the Acer 720p? Find me a Windows laptop with specs anywhere near it for $200- and it better include a SSD because the 10 second boot on a Chromebook is pretty essential. I can't even find a new Windows laptop on Amazon for $200, and the few used ones have Atom processors, 10" screens and Windows 7 Basic.

Yes, it's not a great development device. But it boots in seconds, needs no antivirus (or even maintenance), has a 8-10 hour battery life, a 13" screen and a decent keyboard and trackpad. Stick Linux on it if you want to hack away

about 5 months ago

Submissions

top

Blackboard will acquire Angel Learning

edremy edremy writes  |  more than 5 years ago

edremy (36408) writes "The 900-pound gorilla of learning management systems, Blackboard, announced that it will take over Angel Learning one of its last competitors in the commercial arena. Blackboard is well known for buying out (and killing) WebCT, Prometheus and other LMSes as well as sueing Desire2Learn over basic LMS functionality. This leaves behind a few small commercial companies and a variety of open source tools such as Moodle and Sakai which have been growing rapidly."
top

Are online journals damaging science?

edremy edremy writes  |  more than 6 years ago

edremy (36408) writes "You would think that the availability of powerful search engines and online, full text databases would increase the depth and breadth of science research. According to a paper in this week's Science (Abstract available here) which compares citations for ~34 million papers over the last 60 years, you'd be wrong. Papers written in the electronic age cite newer papers on the whole, and the overall number of papers in a journal that get cited at all plummets. It's not entirely clear why this should be, but the efficiency of modern indices may tend to narrow people's searching: you lose the "Hmm, what's this other article about?" serendipity that helps find those articles that might be useful but not exactly what you wanted."
top

Blackboard wins patent infringement suit

edremy edremy writes  |  more than 6 years ago

edremy (36408) writes "Learning management system maker Blackboard has won its initial suit against Desire2Learn. Blackboard gets $3.1 million and can demand that Desire2Learn stop US sales.

For those not familiar with the suit, you can get the details here. Blackboard has been granted a patent that covers a single person having multiple roles in an LMS: for example, a TA might be a student in one class and an instructor in another. You wouldn't think something this obvious could even be patented, but so far it's been a very effective weapon for BB, badly hurting D2L and generating a huge amount of worry for the few remaining commercial LMSes that BB has not already bought and open source solutions such as Moodle."

Link to Original Source

Journals

Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>